Neville and Val Khambatta from Norwich were amongst the 57 people who were recognised at the RYA Volunteer Awards on Friday (16 November).
The Awards were presented by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, in recognition of boating’s most dedicated volunteers.
At the ceremony, held at One Great George Street, Westminster, London, Neville and Val received their RYA Outstanding Contribution Awards in recognition of their commitment to the Norfolk Punt Club.
Both Neville and Val have been active on the Broads sailing scene for the past 25 years, particularly at their home club, the Norfolk Punt Club. Over this time they have actively supported the training of adults and young people in both sailing and powerboating. Val has been on the Norfolk Punt Club committee for 14 years and was Commodore in 2005. As Training School Principal she organises the annual Junior week, runs first aid training and advises the committee on health and safety standards. Neville was Commodore in 2013, has taught sailing at the club for as long as members can remember, and plays a major role in looking after the club’s boats. Most recently, they initiated ‘Social Saturdays’, offering sailing and social opportunities to both members and non-members. As a direct result, the Punt Club has gained new members, some of whom are now taking an active role in the club. As well as being mainstays of the club, they also support local sailing charities – Val has been a Trustee of the Nancy Oldfield Trust since 2008, and Neville has been a Trustee of Hunters Yard since 1994.
They said of the day: “When the RYA puts on a show it really knows how to do it! The awards ceremony in London is most impressive and to tell the truth we had not fully understood the honour given us by the Norfolk Punt Club until we began to read the citations of other recipients, very humbling. It was a memorable day made even more so the following evening back home in Norfolk when the Punt Club AGM made us both Honorary Life Members. Honestly, we are still a bit stunned by it all. Two ex-pat Londoners who just love sailing and love the Broads! Thank you Norfolk……. the Punt Club and the RYA.”
RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dickson commented: “The RYA Volunteer Awards, sometimes known as the MBE’s of our sport, recognise the outstanding contributions made by volunteers nationwide.
“Today has been a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the people that go above and beyond, giving that little bit extra to ensure others can enjoy the sport we all love. Volunteers really are the lifeblood of boating and it’s an honour to reward their efforts and give something back.”
A HISTORY OF THE NORFOLK PUNT
The history of the Norfolk Punt is complex but is well described in Jamie Campbell’s book “A celebration of Norfolk Punts 1926 to 2006”. Jamie has very kindly given the Norfolk Punt Club a licence to reproduce his book on the Club’s Website together with a formidable archive of photographs. The text and the photographs are presented in full on this site.
The text and photographs may be reproduced only for personal and strictly non-commercial purposes. For reproduction for other purposes, please contact Jamie Campbell whose contact details appear in the Club Handbook.
Please note that the books may take some time to load – so please be patient.
The BBC weather website is trying to redefine the word breezy. If there’s any air movement at all it is classified as breezy. The Norfolk Punt Open took place the weekend in conditions that were breezy, but in the old fashioned sense, in that there was a stiff wind that was very gusty. The racing on Saturday and Sunday morning was challenging but these conditions didn’t upset the fleet and with brilliant sunshine and an air of excitement the crews handled conditions in true Punt style. Some wet and some dry finishers enjoyed some thrilling sailing and although numbers were down on previous years the standard was as high as ever.
Our visitor from Ullswater Colin Murray won in Whooper with Punt Club Commodore Andrew Wilton a close second and Matthew Scott in Woodpecker in third place
On Sunday afternoon the Norfolk Punt Club raced in challenging winds made up for by a cloudless sky. Two wins by Driver father and son in the YBOD Grizzled Skipper were the outstanding performances of the day.
Series 1 Allcomers B
1. James Driver, YBOD Grizzled Skipper
2. Simon Goodman, YBOD Mazarine Blue
3. Andrew Wilton, punt Merlin
Series 2 Allcomers B
1. Andrew Wilton, punt Merlin
2. Simon Jenner, Yarmouth Pimpernel
3. Martin Mills, Wayfarer Exclaim
1. James Driver, Grizzled Skipper
2. Simon Goodman, Mazarine Blue
Photographs of the NSBA Broadland Youth Regatta – 1st September 2018 held at the Norfolk Punt Club.
25th Broadland Youth Regatta at Norfolk Punt Club, 1st September 2018
65 youth and junior sailors in 58 boats from six Broadland Clubs took part in the 25th Broadland Youth Regatta on Barton Broad, hosted on behalf of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association by the Norfolk Punt Club. All for races were sailed in a moderate southerly breeze. Top honours in the fleet racing went to Toby Pearce in the fast handicap start, sailing a Laser Radial for Horning, George Madin in the slow handicap start sailing his RS Tera Pro for WOBYC, Felix Cripps in the Topper Class sailing for WOBYC and Joshua Means in the Optimist Class sailing for Horning.
The interclub competition for the Centenary Salver was contested by six Clubs, and by the narrowest of margins Waveney and Oulton Broad Yacht Club, were triumphant, with NBYC second and Horning Sailing Club third, Beccles Amateur Sailing Club fourth, Hickling Broad Sailing Club fifth and Norfolk Punt Club sixth.
Largest fleet was the Topper fleet, with 23 competitors. The slow handicap fleet included 5 Splashes, two laser 4.7s, one RS Feva XL and one Rs Tera Pro. The fast handicap provided additional excitement with ten Lasers of which four were the radial variety, two Norfolk Punts (one symmetrical rigged, hard Chine, and one asymmetric rigged Morrison type, a 470, a Laser 2, an Enterprise and a Fireball. Ten Optimists took part.
The Whelpton Cup for the most successful double-handed boat was won by Alex Knights crewed by Alice Palutitoif in their RS Feva XL.
The Lady Meyhew Trophy for endeavour, applying the greatest effort in a spirit of sport determination and fun without necessarily achieving a winning position was awarded to Zoe Barnes from the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club in her Optimist dinghy on only her sixth day of sailing and first experience of racing.
NPC gave a big “thank you” to Jeckells The Sailmakers, Cox’s Boatyard, Jarrolds, Barton Turf Activity Centre and Norfolk Marine for sponsoring the event plus the radios kindly supplied by A&L Audio.
Brian Wilkins, on behalf of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, thanked the Norfolk Punt Club, Commodore Andrew Wilton and his dedicated team of volunteers, led by Liz Chettleburgh, who co-ordinated the event.
Georgina Povell, International sailor who started competed at previous Broadland Youth Regattas, sent a message of encouragement to this year’s competitors from her training base in Weymouth, which was read out at the prizegiving.
Norfolk Punt Club Regatta – Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2018
If you hold an event over a Bank Holiday weekend you should be prepared for the good, the bad and the ugly when thinking of the weather. This was certainly true this year as those competitors who entered the various series experienced all three. Saturday mornings racing took place in what was described as good sailing winds, with keel boats increasing the number of crew to help where needed, but the 10.00 races set off into a steady westerly wind with the usually jockeying for position on the start line. The Norfolk Punts relish the stronger breeze, and enjoyed some excellent competitive action. Barton Broad is possibly the best venue on the Broads for fast, open racing and that was certainly true for the Keel boats. A strong junior fleet of Lasers, Fevas and toppers sailed on a course north of the island.
The 11.00 starts were still in a westerly breeze and once again the Punts led off in a closely contested finish –with crews getting damp. For the YBOD fleet the start line saw the inevitable “eagerness” to be first end in these boats returning to start cleanly. But a good skipper can usually make up for this and slower starters were left behind. The Allcomers race saw the Dragon showing her beautiful lines alongside Brown Boats and Yarmouths.
At 12.20 the Cruiser fleet ,split into the normal two section start, set off in fine style. This race always attracts the attention of the holiday makers on their motorboats, as a fantastic spectacle to watch from a distance, or as a rabbit in the headlights as dozens of large and heavy boats bear down on the unsuspecting, making them scatter. The shepherding of the safety boats is always appreciated by the visitors.
After lunch, supplemented by tea and the inevitable cake , the regatta continued with more competitors joining in and making racing more competitive and the tea hut busier. Junior Allcomers kicked off the afternoon series and was keenly contested and well sailed by all, including the Oppies. Punts were once again flying in the increasing wind and the keel boats always make a great show as they run down the Broad goose winging to the top mark. The cruiser races seem to coincide with the holiday makers leaving Stalham for the start of their holiday and more shepherding duty for the safety boats ensures everyone gets through the broad safely. The wind had increased slightly but undeterred Punts , keel boats, juniors and Cruisers battled it out until 6.00pm when many headed for a change of clothes and the Hog Roast at Barton Turf.
Overnight the bad and the Ugly arrived in the form of a strong gusting wind and driving rain causing a few entrants to reconsider their position and withdraw. Punts were flying at times, with a distinct absence of spinnakers and some keel boats found the marker posts grabbing main sheets, but the safety boats were on the scene in case they were needed. Undeterred the full programme was maintained and credit must be given to the competitors who sailed the afternoon, in stinging rain and wind, force 5 and gusting. Special mention for the Junior fleet of dinghies who had excellent racing in the strong winds and the safety boat crews who escorted the fleet. A much depleted audience stayed for the presentations at the end of a very wet and windy day.
For a list of the trophy winners click here Table of trophy winners